A carabiner is strongest when loaded on the major axis, with the gate closed and the sleeve locked. Loading a carabiner in any other way can be dangerous.
Only the strength rating for the major axis with the gate closed is suitable for the loads sustained by a carabiner in vertical activities.
Loading on any axis other than the major axis, and any poor positioning will result in reduced strength.
THE PRIMARY RISKS
Risk of unclipping
- The carabiner is not properly closed at the time of attachment (e.g. sling caught between the nose and the gate).
- The carabiner was improperly closed or improperly locked before use and the rock, the rope or an item of equipment presses on the gate.
- The rock, the rope, or an item of equipment rubs against and unlocks the sleeve, and pushes on the gate in the direction of opening.
Risk of carabiner breakage
Note: Vertical practices involving a single user who is properly equipped and protected from falls rarely generate enough force to break a carabiner. However, any fall can produce an impact force that approaches the breaking strength of a poorly positioned carabiner.
Examples of risk situations in the field
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